The UFC Vegas 41 main card just concluded with a ranked middleweight matchup, but at light heavyweight. The #5 rated, Marvin Vettori, just won a grueling decision over the #2 rated, Paulo Costa. Marvin’s key to success was his willingness to stay in Costa’s face and push the pace. Also, being tough enough to eat head kicks other devastating Costa strikes is a huge plus. In his post-fight interview, Vettori expresses a desire to fight the best and work his way back to a title shot.
In the co-main event, Grant Dawson and Ricky Glenn fought to a majority draw, with one judge seeing it 29-28 for Grant. Dawson leaned on his grappling, controlling Glenn on the ground across the first-two frames, but Ricky came on strong in the final act — dominating on the the ground and nearly choking out Dawson at the bell. How did you score this one?
Before that, Jessica-Rose Clark took a dominant, yet underwhelming, decision over Joselyne Edwards. There was tons of positional control, but not many strikes or submission attempts.
In what was a wild comeback, Alex Caceres overcame being dropped, AND illegally kneed in the face, to score a second-round rear-naked choke on Seung Woo Choi. This was a total veteran move here. Choi was aggressively advancing forward and Caceres spun around, took his back, and then sunk the choke. Alex Caceres is officially on a five-fight winning streak for the first time in his career.
The welterweight division got a competitive matchup between Dwight Grant and Francisco Trinaldo that resulted in a split decision. An eye poke at the start of the third round resulted in Trinaldo losing a point, but he still earned two scores of 29-27 to get the nod. At 43-years-old, Francisco has won four of his last five UFC fights.
The UFC Vegas 41 main card started with a bang when Nick Negumereanu took out Ike Villanueva at just 1:18 into the fight. It was in the middle of a brawl that a punch from Negumereanu landed to the back of the head that dropped Villanueva. It didn’t appear as if Nick was aiming for the back of the head; it seemed to kind of just happen in the chaos. It was some followup ground and pound that sealed the deal. With this win, Negumereanu advances his UFC record to 2-1.
**See complete results below
Costa opened the match with some stinging leg kicks. Costa fell from throwing a kick, and Vettori swarmed trying to capitalize on the situation and push the pace. Costa started kicking the body to get some breathing room, but Vettori was answering with counter punches. Vettori would flurry and Costa would shell up. It was a good round for Marvin.
Costa rocked Vettori with a head kick early in the second round, but Marvin refused to go down. Not only did Vettori recover, but he got right back to returning fire. Costa started ripping to the body with hooks, but that prompted Marvin to hit a short-lived takedown. Then, an eye poke as Costa was kicking caused Vettori to backpedal in pain. The referee paused the fight, and deducted a point from Paulo. The fight restarted and Vettori started attacking the legs and overwhelming Costa.
Vettori kept pressuring in the third round, backing up Costa and unloading volume. Paulo would score every so often when he would get a moment to think. Then in the middle of an exchange, Costa hit a double leg takedown, but lost position by falling back on a guillotine. Costa did make it back to his feet.
Vettori pressured some more in the fourth frame, and Costa was waiting for him with hard counters. Vettori was not deterred, though, and stayed in Paulo’s face. He was unloading combinations that kept overwhelming Costa. Whenever Marvin gave Costa some time, Paulo would come forward and spam his monstrous right hand.
Costa came out swinging in the final round, trying to get Vettori out of there. Marvin started to back up and tried to shoot a takedown to keep a surging Costa from mauling him. Vettori was able to clinch up to slow things down, but Costa was still coming. In open space, the output of Vettori dwindled off, and Costa kept pushing. Vettori was able to hold on and escape the round.
Grant Dawson and Ricky Glenn fought to a majority draw (29-28, 28-28 x2): Lightweight
Dawson ducked under and achieved himself an early takedown to kick things off here. From side control, he tenderized the ribs of Glenn, which resulted in grant taking the back. Plenty of thudding hammerfists landed for Dawson, and Glenn did not return to his feet.
Glenn was ready for the takedown attempt at the beginning of the second round. He stuffed Dawson’s first-several attempts, but then Grant was able to hit a trip to put Ricky on his back. Dawson dominated with control until the bell sounded.
The final round saw Glenn stuff a couple of takedown attempts from Dawson, and actually ended up in top position. Glenn punched away and even threatened with an arm triangle, all in an attempt to find a finish. Dawson kept trying to scramble and get up, but Glenn kept shutting him down while dropping some big blows. With 10-seconds to go, Glenn attacked with a D’arce as time expired. It almost looked like Dawson went out, but he didn’t.
Jessica-Rose Clark def. Joselyne Edwards by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28): (W) Bantamweight
It didn’t take very long for Clark to close the distance and get the takedown. Not much took place, other then eating up some clock, so the referee brought the fighters back to their feet. Edwards shoved Clark up against the cage and landed short knees to the thigh before breaking apart. Edwards landed a combination before Clark closed the distance on her and took her back to the floor.
The athletes clinched up again in the second stanza, jockeying for position against the fence. Clark was able to hit a slick takedown to get on top, and went back to neutralizing her opponent. Only a handful of strikes landed during all that time in the dominant position, and Edwards made it back to her feet before the bell. Clark clinched up again in the final frame, and hit another takedown. She hung on in the full guard, with Edwards trying to strike from her back. After a bunch of time passed, Edwards stood up to her feet, but was almost instantly taken right back down.
Alex Caceres def. Seung Woo Choi by submission (RNC) at 3:31 of round 2: Featherweight
Choi took the center of the Octagon to get things going, but Caceres was loose on the outside launching crafty kicks. Choi scored with a stiff right hand, and then another one just as Caceres was throwing a kick. Caceres hit the deck, and on his way up, Choi landed an illegal knee to the face of the downed Caceres. The doctor was brought in to check on Alex, who was deemed fit to continue. Choi lost a point for the infraction. Caceres started to land some strikes upon the restart, but one right hand from Choi seemed to be more effective than the accumulative work of Caceres.
Choi took the center of the Octagon in the second round, and was pressuring Caceres with his hefty punches. As Choi aggressively rushed in, Caceres spun behind him and jumped on his back. Choi dropped down to the mat and Caceres was squeezing on his neck. Choi was dead to rights and had to tap. What a wild comeback!
Francisco Trinaldo def. Dwight Grant by split decision (29-27 x2, 27-29): Welterweight
A little bit of feeling out was going on to begin this one. Trinaldo was pressing forward, but looking to load up on one big shot. Grant was countering Trinaldo as he was advancing. They would exchange little leg kicks here and there, but Grant was getting the better of the standup. Towards the end of the round, Trinaldo did land a couple of clean left hands and a few rights.
The second round began with a warning from the referee to Trinaldo about his fingers being extended. Grant knocked over Trinaldo and took top position, and was able to land some big punches before Francisco quickly scrambled up to his feet. Trinaldo was struggling to land much offense, so he closed the distance and started to grind on Grant against the cage.
The third act opened up with an accidental cup kick from Trinaldo, resulting in a break. Upon the restart, Trinaldo poked Grant in thew eye, causing Dwight to drop down in agony. Trinaldo lost a point for that infraction. The fight finally got back underway and Trinaldo earned himself a takedown. He maintained control as he worked his way into full mount, and that’s where the fight stayed until the sand ran out of the hourglass.
Nick Negumereanu def. Ike Villanueva by TKO at 1:18 of round 1: Light Heavyweight
Negumereanu shot in right away and pressed Villanueva up against the cage. He threw a spinning elbow attempt that brought the fight back to open space, and that’s when all hell broke loose. The fighters began brawling, and in the mix, Negumereanu clipped Villanueva with a punch that landed to the back of the head. Villanueva went down and Negumereanu punched away until the referee stepped in.